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Health symptoms you should never ignore—whatever your age


1st Jan 2015 Health Conditions

Health symptoms you should never ignore—whatever your age

Whether you're young or old, there are some health symptoms that should never be ignored. Chances are they're nothing to worry about, but it's always worth getting them checked out for peace of mind.

Unexplained weight loss

If you haven't been consciously trying to lose weight, either through exercise or a healthier diet, it could be worth exploring any reasons for a drop in pounds. There may be an explanation that you hadn't thought of, such as stress, but in rare cases it could indicate diabetes, a hormone problem or even some forms of cancer.

Abnormal bleeding

If you experience abnormal bleeding, it's always worth a visit to the doctor to get it checked out. It could indicate a hormonal imbalance or infection, but it could also be a symptom of a more serious problem, such as cancer.

Lumps, bumps and swelling

Most lumps or bumps that crop up on the body are probably harmless, but if you notice a swelling that doesn't go away after a few days, or starts to get bigger, make an appointment with your GP. Persistent swelling in the legs could indicate heart problems.

Excessive tiredness

We all get tired now and again, but if you find that you're always feeling exhausted, there could be an underlying cause. There are tons of reasons for chronic fatigue, including anaemia, hormone problems, diabetes, depression and some forms of cancer, so get to the root of the cause.

Low mood

If you have been feeling like a dark cloud has been following you around for a while, it could be a symptom of depression. One in four of us will suffer from depression or anxiety at some point, so it is much more common than you might imagine. It's not just restricted to adults, either. An increasing number of children and teenagers are suffering, so make an appointment with your GP if you have any concerns.

Visual problems

It can be frightening to suddenly experience flashing lights or bright spots in the eyes, and in many cases it could just be a migraine. You may not even experience a headache if you suffer from a visual migraine. It's advisable to visit your optician or GP, however, as visual disturbances could indicate more worrisome problems such as diabetes or a detached retina. A detached retina requires immediate medical attention, as it could lead to a permanent loss of vision.

Shortness of breath

If you suddenly feel out of breath without doing any physical exertion, seek medical attention to rule out serious ailments such as a blood clot or heart problems. It could be something as simple as an anxiety or panic attack, but don't ignore the symptoms.

Severe tummy pain

Most cases of really bad tummy ache could be due to a nasty bug, but if the pain is persistent and sharp don't leave it to chance. It could be caused by a wide range of problems, including a ruptured aorta, gallstones, appendicitis, diverticulitis or a blockage.

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